Newswise — With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, it’s very tempting to open up your wallet and buy expensive gifts for all of your family and friends, especially for students who are on a tight budget. Keeping the following tips in mind will help you trim your holiday spending but still enjoy giving to others this festive season:
1. Make a budget. Think about how much you have saved and how much you will make into the New Year. Decide how much you want to spend on each person and stick to it! Don’t forget to include gift cards, wrap, tape and postage in your expenses.
2. Don’t lose track of your spending. Keep a notebook with totals and receipts, or track your expenses on a spreadsheet.
3. Pay cash, avoid credit. Go to the bank, take out all the money you intend to spend and keep it in an envelope. If you must use a card, use your debit card.
4. Kijiji and Craigslist could be a student’s best friend. Sell your unwanted clothing, video games and textbooks. The extra space is always appreciated and the extra cash during the holiday season can go a long way.
5. The greatest bargains are online. Check out Groupon, Buytopia, LivingSocial, OneSpout and BeyondTheRack for great deals!
6. Remember that you’re not Santa Claus; keep the gift-giving to your family and a few close friends.
7. Start shopping now. Prices only go up as the holiday season gets closer.
8. Make your own gifts. Don’t feel obligated to buy something. Homemade gifts such as baked goods or even offering your services and time (i.e. babysitting, running errands, cooking dinner or cleaning the house) can be the best gifts you can give.
9. Keep it simple. Instead of going out with your friends to a fancy restaurant, consider gathering in someone’s home. Not only will this save you a lot of money, but this will most likely make for a more memorable holiday season.
10. Start a new savings account that you can contribute to throughout the year in order to have a larger budget for the holiday season next year.
STUDENT EXPERT AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS:
Dunja FucicCo-Director of $tart$mart, SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise)
www.ICanStartSmart.comNot available after Dec. 21/2011